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Saskatchewan Forestry Goes Off the Rails


June 10, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Lack of rail service is having spillover effects for the forestry industry in northwest Saskatchewan.

Lack of rail service is having spillover effects for the forestry industry in northwest Saskatchewan.

According to a recent report by the StarPhoenix, the extent of the deterioration of the rail line has been so severe that trains have not been able to run since April 11, preventing the three mills in the Meadow Lake region to seek alternate methods to ensure their products reach market.

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“The line isn’t in operation because of safety concerns,” The StarPhoenix reported Mike Ogborn, managing director for Omnitrax Canada as saying. Omnitrax owns Cartlon Trail Railway, which is responsible for the rail line between North Battleford to Meadow Lake. “The great amount of rain and wetness up there caused there to be problems with the substructure of the railroad, and rail locomotives and cars could not be operated safely over it because of the substructure problems,” he continued.

The StarPhoenix confirmed that there is currently no date set for completion of the repair work.

An oriented strand board mill, a pulp facility and a sawmill are all located in the area.


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